goodbye to dark & drab [our kitchen renovation]


I have such an incredible appreciation for woodworkers. As I settle into my style, I am continually drawn to things made from natural materials. I am particularly fond of the warmth and beauty of wood. Fortunately, my parents and many family members are extremely talented when it comes to building and have taught me the value of “homemade”.  My uncle, Brent Rourke, is a cabinet maker by trade and designs simplistic yet elegant shaker furniture. He is the owner and mastermind behind The Barn in Bloomfield . If you have yet to make your way to his shop to check out his work, you are missing out! Naturally, when we were thinking about a kitchen renovation, we knew Brent was our guy! His work is meticulously crafted and extremely beautiful! The prospect of having fully custom wooden cabinets and floating shelves was a dream come true!

Here is a taste of the “before”.


Dark and drab could quite possibly be the understatement of the century. When Peter and I purchased this home, the main selling feature was the property, knowing that staying here long term would mean renovations and a possible addition. The kitchen was such a turn off for me, it was almost a deal breaker. The day we moved in,  I told Peter that I could not live with the kitchen flooring, and it haunted me for 2 long years. The flooring certainly didn’t grow on me, but it somehow drifted from my focus (I know, right? How is that even possible?). Eventually, my patience was rewarded this past summer when we took the plunge and gutted the kitchen!


Thinking back, opening up this doorway felt like such a victory! Peter and his dad did the demolition and it was so satisfying when even the smallest progress was made.
Down came the bulk head and remaining upper cabinets.
We lived with the gutted kitchen, on the diagonal subfloor, for far too long. I felt like we were never going to have counters again! I remember Peter’s dad saying, “You will look back and not even remember this!” Little did I know, he was right! Thinking back now, it was such a blip in time!
Finally, the hardwood floors were laid, new appliances arrived and cabinet installation began! The finishing touches were underway and the space really took shape.


Slowly but surely, we have made this space our own. For our first home renovation project, I am really happy with how it came together! We spent many hours planning and picking out every piece of this kitchen. It really feels like a reflection of who we are.(knobs and pulls from Restoration Hardware)

(range hood from Ikea, 3×6 white matte finish subway tile with Flextile grout in Bone from Hamilton’s )

This lovely runner is the most recent addition. We ended up ordering it from ecarpetgallery. We had hoped to buy locally from Cobalt Art Gallery  and I absolutely loved the beautiful runner we tried from there, but it was just too wide to fit the space.

(beautiful MNO pottery by Darren Emenau)


(cutting boards by Jon Black and Brent Rourke, salt & pepper shakers by Umbra Shift from Tuck Studio)

(Westinghouse sink from Costco and faucet from Ikea)

(wall sconces from Ikea)

(eq3 vase from Tuck Studio)

(more MNO pottery and Sophie Conran tablewear)



I am so in love with this space! It is bright, airy and feels so much more inviting. Next project: the addition of my dreams! I will keep you posted…it’s going to be gorgeous!

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7 Comments

  1. Heather Allen
    April 22, 2017 / 5:30 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! Beautiful space.

    • reenywallace
      April 23, 2017 / 7:57 am

      Thank you, Heather! It was a lot of fun! Let me know how your dad makes out with his kitchen project!

  2. court
    April 23, 2017 / 10:37 am

    wooden bowls from court’s flea market

    • reenywallace
      April 23, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      Yes! That should definitely be noted ;). Love any hand me down from you Court!!!

  3. Norma Mullett
    April 23, 2017 / 11:05 pm

    LOV the Island

    Could I have the dimensions of the Island?

    • reenywallace
      April 24, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      Thanks, Norma! The island top measures 27.5 inches wide by 56 inches long (the wooden top is 2 inches thick). The height of the island is 36 inches. Hope this helps! 🙂

      • Norma Mullett
        May 6, 2017 / 10:38 am

        Thanks Becky